Black & White Photography

Rain & rainbows

Rain & rainbows

Sometimes I feel that colour doesn’t always do a photo justice. In order to truly see what is in some photos, you sometimes have to strip away the colour leaving just the black & white contrasting shades & tones. I was brought up early on a healthy diet of B&W photos. My uncle Garth was a navy trained photographer and he was always taking wonderful B&W photos of us kids as we hiked and camped all over the beautiful Blue Mountains, Australia. As youngsters we would see him go into the laundry of our grandmothers house (his darkroom) where he would disappear and somehow come back magically with these wonderful photos……how he did this, I certainly didn’t know back then.

As I came to understand and practice my own photography years later I believe my early exposure to black and white photography had been awakened. Some photographers who specialise in B&W photos say that they, “see in B&W”, when looking out in the world and I totally believe this. I know that a large aspect of being a photographer is your ability to see a finished photo as you are taking it. The ability to pre visualise a scene before taking a photo and to know how it will look after editing is what makes a better photographer. I have come to understand when I’m out taking photos what light & subject would suit B&W or colour. I find as my photographic journey progresses I find I’m drawn more & more to black & white or a duo toned shot. There is a beauty in stripping something back, a rawness to it. Much like how a cabinet maker might strip back an old piece of furniture, removing the old excessive layers of paint to reveal it’s true bare form & it’s naturally beautifully grain. This for me is wonder of B&W, the allure to find a scene without the hindrance of colour. A scene where dark and light truly unfolds across the frame. A scene where there is only black….or white.

Black & White

 

Echo point at night

Echo point at night

basking in light

basking in light

Leura Falls

Leura Falls

balancing act

balancing act

jamison valley drama

jamison valley drama

Katoomba falls in the mist

Katoomba falls in the mist

low fog in the grose valley

low fog in the grose valley

phantom falls

phantom falls

drama

drama

Grose valley panoramic

Grose valley panoramic

minni haha falls

minnehaha falls

Rainy days

Rainy days

Dad

Dad

wedding fun

wedding fun

melbourne streets

melbourne streets

mother & daughter

mother & daughter

Into the mist

Into the mist

pine needles pattern

pine needles pattern

urban fog

urban fog

echo point in the fog

echo point in the fog

Autumn mist

Autumn mist

blazing wattle tree

blazing wattle tree

iconic Bondi beach

iconic Bondi beach

what the fork...

what the fork…

urban night

urban night

Jamison rains

Jamison rains

out on the farm

out on the farm

drive me to the moon

drive me to the moon

north face 100

north face 100

Brooding streams

Brooding streams

Opera house Sydney

Opera house Sydney

skating

skating

mardi gras

mardi gras

approaching storm

approaching storm

reaching for light

reaching for light

Bee & nessie

Bee & nessie

last show

last show

seas of fog

seas of fog

waverley cemetery

waverley cemetery

Autumn night

Autumn night

shadowlands

shadowlands

katoomba falls pano

katoomba falls pano

Jamison seas pano

Jamison seas pano

Bee

amongst the daffodils

 

I can do this

I can do this

life is still

life is still

sisters in silhouette

sisters in silhouette

last light

last light

popular spot

popular spot

ellenborough falls

ellenborough falls

junction falls

junction falls

pumping along

pumping along

after the rains

after the rains

dark moods

dark moods

Victoria

Victoria

Carrington hotel cellars

Carrington hotel cellars

glow worm cave

glow worm cave

generations

generations

dance motion

dance motion

cockatoo portrait

cockatoo portrait

weeping rock

weeping rock

glowworm stream

glowworm stream

looking to megalong

looking to megalong

approaching change

approaching change

katoomba falls

katoomba falls

three sisters

three sisters

dogface panoramic

dogface panoramic

cultural centre

cultural centre katoomba

echo point viewing at night

echo point viewing at night

winter magic festival

winter magic festival

 

amongst the ferns

amongst the ferns

getting in close

getting in close

cascades in flood

cascades in flood

getting a haircut

getting a haircut

wedding party

wedding party

rolling in

rolling in

explosion

explosion

feline study

feline study

Atop ruined castle

Atop ruined castle

moody falls

moody falls

phantom commeth

phantom commeth

Katoomba falls

Katoomba falls

louie the fly

louie the fly

operatic mood

operatic mood

Katoomba courthouse

Katoomba courthouse

having an outdoor shower

having an outdoor shower

calm

calm

lost in thought

lost in thought

allot more to go… perhaps another time

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Narrowneck plateau, Katoomba

Ben Pearse Photography

If I had to name one, if not my favourite, all time locations in the Blue Mountains it would have to be Narrowneck plateau in Katoomba, NSW, Australia. I was first introduced to the this area, along with my brother Simon, some 25 years ago when we first started rock climbing in the area. As young enthusiastic teenagers we use to spend all weekend, cutting our teeth, on the magnificent sandstone walls of this area. Climbing would envelop our life for the next 10+ years, without much room for much else…..

Narrowneck is a narrow ridge line that cuts it’s pathway between two majestic valley’s, the Megalong & Jamison. Approximately 12 kms in length, it commands attention within it’s landscape of the world heritage listed,  Blue Mountains. So here I am some 25 years later wandering the plateau again, perhaps not clinging to the side in desperation or for life, but still clinging, hanging, camera in hand…………..in search of light & mood. I’m not sure what attracts me to this location so much, perhaps it’s the balancing act, perched between to the two valleys, constantly tugging at me from each side, luring me in for another shot………………who knows, but I love it. I’ll continue to wander this landscape getting lost in thought & time searching for that elusive perfect light & mood for many moons to come, perhaps I’ll see you out there one day……

cheers ben

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   more narrowneck splendour

waterfalls of mist

waterfalls of mist

Golden light

Golden light

summers afternoon

summers afternoon

trees with colour

trees with colour

balancing act

balancing act

a popular abseiling location

a popular abseiling location

Fog rolling between valley's

Fog rolling between valley’s

dissecting the valley's

dissecting the valley’s

moody skies during bushfires

moody skies during bushfires

last light

last light

Me training a few years back

Me training a few years back

Me.....back in the day

Me…..back in the day

a view of cliffs nearby

a view of cliffs nearby

looking into the jamison valley

looking into the jamison valley

heavy smoke on the plateau

heavy smoke on the plateau

jamison valley glory

jamison valley glory

Phantom Falls…….Blue Mountains

Phanton Falls- Narrowneck plateau, Blue Mountains

Phantom Falls- Narrowneck plateau, Blue Mountains

One of the great natural phenomenons that occurs in the upper Blue Mountains is the little known “phantom falls”.  Without boring you too much with the science behind it…., it basically requires warm humid that is heated by the sun rays in the Jamison Valley colliding with much cooler air from the neighboring Megalong valley (or via versa),  resulting in the spectacular “waterfall” like effect in the valley. I have watched the fog numerous times just effortlessly gliding over the Narrowneck plateau, shrouding the scene in a wedding like veil.

I took off on a large walk the other day, not really anticipating capturing the phantom falls in action. I had actually gone off in search of a waterfall I’d seen many years ago and was keen to take a peek. As it was humid I decided to get closer to see if there was any fog in the valley and I was pleased to see the apparition like scene in the valley, the phantom had most definitely appeared. One of the things as a photographer I try and do is to get some different and unique compositions of an emerging scene. So I spent the next 1.5 hours scooting up and down the cliffs looking for different angles to capture this wonderful phenomenon.  Though I’ve seen the fog covering more of the escarpment in the past, I was happy to get some nice light in the valley on this occasion as well. I’ll continue to look for this great natural occurrence in the future and I hope to get many more great shots of it. So if you’re in the area and conditions feel right, head over to the nearest lookout and you just may see the…………………..Phantom of the Blue Mountains.

have a wonderful week, enjoy the views

cheers ben                                                                                                                                                                                     more of the phantom

reaching into the megalong

reaching into the megalong

like a waterfall

like a waterfall

creeping to the edge

creeping to the edge

past the wildflowers

past the wildflowers

blue skies above

blue skies above

I'm searching for the phantom

I’m searching for the phantom

 

seen without colour

seen without colour

careful, the phantom approaches

careful, the phantom approaches